A Broom Cupboard, Two Peacocks and a Wedding

I know I said I wouldn’t (show any more birds) but these two guys were totally irresistible. Pendley Manor Hotel is home to seven peacocks and where we acted as second and third cameramen on Friday to film a wedding for Mark Shipperley Films. Located in Tring, Hertfordshire, this sumptuous Manor sprawls across 35 acres of wooded parkland. Hence the peacocks (and no close neighbours).

Nigel and I stayed at Uplands House, a DeVere Hotel. Our room cannot be otherwise described but as very ‘compact & bijou’. We even managed to set the fire alarm off in our room as the steam from the shower was enough to get it screetching. We stayed two nights, dining out the first night at a Loch Fyne Restaurant in Beaconsfield (we had Fish & Chips); the second night we sat in our cramped hotel room eating soggy sandwiches after a long day of filming.

Yesterday I spent the day editing the wedding film for Mark and will be writing more about it, and uploading the finished short film to Alice Barker Weddings later today.  Which explains why I’m writing my blog and only sharing it with you this morning.

Extending One’s View

Yesterday DHL delivered my Canon Extender EF 2x II which Nigel had bought for me to attach to my Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L lens, thus amplifying it to a whopping 400mm. My Canon 600D already gave it an extra 50% zoom (compared to my regular Canon 5D Mark II) so imagine my delight when my whole world came even closer!

As you’d expect, yours truly sat glued to her seat in the Garden Room in the hope of capturing something special. And along it came in the shape of Monsieur G (so nicknamed as J in French is pronounced G). Since he (and most of the other wildlife around here) has discovered that food is currently available at N° 8, he’s become a regular visitor. My patience was kindly rewarded when, thanks to the Extender, I was able to get a close up him stuffing himself to the gills with peanuts.

I do promise to photograph something other than birds but, for the moment, that’s all we’ve got around here – apart from a couple of rabbits who come round for late afternoon tea.

And just in case you’re wondering I am working in-between my birdie photographic sessions. I’ve just completed a short wedding highlight in Adobe Premiere (having decided not to learn FCP X) and tomorrow I’m filming (and will then edit) a Church Wedding in the delightfully named village Drayton Beauchamp in Buckinghamshire.

Alone in The Big House

With Nigel off assisting as second cameraman for a wedding up in Northampton, I found myself Home Alone in The Big House today. What fun I thought as I sat in the Garden Room, sipping my coffee and composing the list of things I intend doing.

An hour later I’m still fiddling with my list and a little voice is saying that if I don’t stop fiddling I’ll be sat in the Garden Room all day doing nothing but that. Though I agree with my inner voice, the antics of my little visitors outside continue to captivate me and I linger a tad longer in the Garden Room. My inner voice is now shouting at me to get my act together and Do Something! So I decide to drive the short distance to Wroxham Barns and then across to Salhouse to visit their garden centre. Big tick on my list. ‘Progress’, says I, with a smile.

Back home I head to the kitchen to warm up my coffee. I catch a movement outside. It’s a heron. I grab my camera only to remember that the memory card is still in my office from when I downloaded this morning’s batch of photos. I kick myself at being so stupid. A choice of scurrilities escape (it seems to be the week for them). I dash upstairs, run back down and slip the card into the camera. Luckily the heron is still there and hasn’t seen me. I kick myself again – the back door is closed so I can’t go outside to photograph him as the noise of the door opening would certainly disturb him.

I manage to take a number of photographs of this sleek bird through the kitchen window. He may not be a Flamingo but he certainly has the grace of one in flight. I add another item to my list – keep the kitchen windows clean . . .

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